ISS using Google's Project tango to power robots

One of Google’s two ATAP prototype smartphones, Project Tango is designed to track 3D movement using a multitude of cameras and vision processors. A joint demo by NASA and Google has revealed how powerful Project Tango could be when combined with existing technologies. Engineers at NASA and have grafted a ‘space-ready’ Project Tango smartphone onto NASA’s SPHERES satellites, tiny robots that move along using C02 canisters.

Google’s Project Tango, the prototype smartphone packed with sensors so it can learn and sense the world around it, is heading to the International Space Station. Two of the Tango phones are due to be launched to the ISS on the upcoming Orbital 2 mission, which is scheduled to launch in May and take supplies to the station. The phones will be used as part of a NASA project that’s developing robots that could one day fly around the inside or outside of the space station, or even be used in NASA’s planned mission to land on an asteroid. Work on the robots is already going on at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, and this week the space agency let a small group of reporters visit its lab and see some of the research.

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